More than a decade after patient safety hit the national agenda with the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s “To Err Is Human” report, someone is finally putting together a certification program for professionals involved in ensuring patient safety.
The leading group in this field, the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), has just launched the certification program. It’s designed to standardize a curriculum, elevate the profession and share best practices.
“Patient safety is a top priority for our healthcare system,” said Dr. Lucian L. Leape, chair of the Lucian Leape Institute at NPSF. “But we will not be able to truly move the needle until those who are involved in the practice have the knowledge base necessary to do the job. The certification program is an essential element in that quest.”
Dr. David Shulkin attempted as far back as the late 1990s to highlight the profession through creation of the Patient Safety Officers Society. PSOS got some early traction but hasn’t been active for several years. Dr. Shulkin is now president of Morristown (N.J.) Memorial Hospital and vice president of its parent, Atlantic Health.
This time around, NPSF reports, membership in the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety is open to professionals whose primary responsibility is patient safety as well as others across the healthcare disciplines.
Our view: The patient safety field represents the essential nexus of numerous healthcare fields, and NPSF’s new initiative represents a major step forward in better protecting patients. More details at http://npsf.org/pr/pressrel/2010-12-22.php.